Heat (UK) - - Deep -

If you’re af­ter some much-needed warmth af­ter the Beast From The East, then look no fur­ther than the third se­ries of ITV’S glo­ri­ously sunny Sun­day-night pe­riod drama to toast your cock­les. Based on Ger­ald Dur­rell’s fa­mous mem­oirs, it’s the story of his fam­ily’s highs and lows af­ter re­lo­cat­ing from driz­zly Eng­land to beau­ti­ful Corfu, em­bark­ing on an ad­ven­ture of a life­time. At the end of last se­ries, Gerry’s wid­owed mum Louisa (Kee­ley Hawes) was once again fac­ing life alone, af­ter break­ing up with love in­ter­est Hugh. Angst-rid­den Margo (Daisy Water­stone) bagged her­self a boyfriend, Gerry (Milo Parker) wel­comed Corfu’s en­tire wildlife pop­u­la­tion into their home, Larry (Josh O’con­nor) em­barked on a pas­sion­ate af­fair with an older woman, and Les­lie (Cal­lum Wood­house) be­came an un­likely hero when he helped house­keeper Lu­garet­zia’s daugh­ter give birth in the kitchen. As we re­turn to the idyl­lic is­land once again, Louisa’s put­ting hopes of find­ing love on hold while she guides her un­ruly brood to­wards hap­pi­ness. Larry is smart­ing af­ter his sec­ond novel flops and con­tem­plates writ­ing un­der the suit­ably pompous pseu­do­nym Hierony­mus Sch­noop. Jerry is col­lect­ing more an­i­mals than they have space or food for (stan­dard), Margo’s in need of “pur­pose” af­ter her break-up with Zoltan, and Les­lie is prov­ing quite the player with not one, not two, but three girl­friends. Louisa de­cides to take Les­lie’s love life into her own hands and, be­fore long, the fam­ily hi­lar­i­ously form a girl­friend judg­ing panel, each pe­ti­tion­ing for their favourites – just in time for the ar­rival of their very own Si­mon Cow­ell, Aunt Hermione. As al­ways, a joy from start to fin­ish. ★★★★★ Kay Ribeiro

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